Ara Castle (Murakami Clan Fort Network)

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MurakamiArajou (1).JPG


Arajō is twinned with Ushibusejō below on the same mountain ridge. The ridgeline was thought to resemble a cow lying down, and if that is so then Arajō was the cow’s buttocks. Smaller than Ushibusejō, the castle was likely used as a signal fort. Both castles were part of the Murakami Renju Toride. See my profile on Murakami-Kokuzōsanjō for more information: Murakami Kokuzousan Castle.

Visit Notes

Arajō sits above Ushibusejō on the same ridge. It cannot be missed climbing from Ushibusejō but the way is quite long and steep. It is another single bailey fort, like Ushibusejō, with trenches to the rear dug into the ridge, except overall its dimensions are smaller than Ushibusejō’s. One interesting feature of Arajō, however, is that the mountainside dorui (earthen rampart) segment is very thick, almost as wide as the bailey it protects it seems. Given its girth maybe this dorui was used as the foundations of a small tower? Beneath it are two horikiri (trenches).

  • Main Bailey with rear dorui

Castle Profile
English Name Ara Castle (Murakami Clan Fort Network)
Japanese Name 村上荒城
Founder Murakami Yoshikiyo
Year Founded Sengoku Period
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Dorui, Horikiri
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Ascend from Ushibuse Castle or descend from Mt Tarou.
Visitor Information 24/7 free; mountain
Time Required 40 minutes
Location Ueda, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 25' 35.36" N, 138° 15' 9.54" E
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Added to Jcastle 2021
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle

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